Poker in the pit!

Apr 18, 2005 4:18 AM

Coinciding with the World Poker Tour’s (WPT) championship tournament in Las Vegas this week, the WPT will unveil its all-new WPT All-In Hold ”˜Em table game at the Bellagio.

The banked casino game begins a field trial at Bellagio starting on Friday. The game was developed by David Sklansky, a world renowned poker expert and author, and licensed to Lakes Entertainment, which owns a majority interest in the World Poker Tour.

The WPT All-In Hold ”˜Em table game will allow poker fans to experience the same kind of excitement that they have been seeing on television.

Players can strategize their betting and experience the thrill of making an "all-in" raise or a big bluff. Like No Limit Texas Hold ”˜Em poker played on the World Poker Tour, the WPT All-In Hold ”˜Em table game "takes a minute to learn for a lifetime of action" — to paraphrase WPT commentator Mike Sexton.

WPT All-In Hold ”˜Em is distinctive, however, in that players only play against the dealer rather than against the other players at the table.

"The WPT has a great relationship with Bellagio, which was a charter casino on the tour, so it is only fitting that we unveil this great new game to Las Vegas right on Bellagio’s casino floor," said Lakes Entertainment CEO Lyle Berman. "Lakes has had great success in our previous game introductions and Bellagio is a significant step in the national rollout for WPT All-In Hold ”˜Em."

The 90-day exclusive introduction will acquaint Las Vegas visitors and locals with the game, while at the same time providing Nevada regulators an opportunity to review it. The Commission will then consider WPT All-In Hold ”˜Em for full-scale approval at all Las Vegas casinos.

"We anticipate that it will be a winning hand with both sophisticated players and the novice player as well," said Berman. "WPT All-In Hold ”˜Em is a way for casino players to feel like they are making a guest appearance on the show. It allows them to experience the rush that WPT players get when they say, ”˜I’m all-in!’"

Here’s how the game works. Each player is required to bet the "ante" on every hand. Then the player has other betting options, including bonus bets on the hole cards and the final value of the hand. For example, a royal flush pays 500-1, four-of-a-kind pays 40-1, while a "pocket pair" of aces pays 20-1.

Once players have seen the hole cards, they can fold, raise the ante by betting five times its amount or "go all-in" by raising 10 times the ante bet.

Then the action turns to the dealer, who will fold and pay off the antes, or call. If the dealer calls (based on specific rules), the play continues with the flop, turn and the river cards. If the player’s best five-card poker hand beats the dealer’s, the player wins his ante and raise bet.